Ezra Pound

Pick a Fern

Pick a fern, pick a fern, ferns are high,
“Home,” I’ll say: home, the year’s gone by,
no house, no roof, these huns on the hoof.
Work, work, work, that’s how it runs,
We are here because of these huns.

Pick a fern, pick a fern, soft as they come,
I’ll say”Home.”
Hungry all of us, thirsty here,
no home news for nearly a year.

Pick a fern, pick a fern, if they scratch,
I’ll say “Home,” what’s the catch?
I’ll say “Go home,” now October’s come.
King wants us to give it all,
no rest, spring, summer, winter, fall,
Sorrow to us, sorrow to you.
We won’t get out of here till we’re through.

When it’s cherry-time with you,
we’ll see the captain’s car go thru,
four big horses to pull that load.
That’s what comes along our road,
What do you call three fights a month,
and won ‘em all?

Four car-horses strong and tall
and the boss who can drive ‘em all
as we slog along beside his car,
ivory bow-tips and shagreen case
to say nothing of what we face
sloggin’ along in the Hien-yün war.

Willows were green when we set out,
it’s blowin’ an' snowin’ as we go
down this road, muddy and slow,
hungry and thirsty and blue as doubt
(No one feels half of what we know).